In the future the arts will exist, as Sri Aurobindo wrote in the Life Divine, “as expressions and means of the truth of the spirit and the beauty of and delight of existence.” This is the challenge presenting itself to artists both in Auroville and all around the world.
Art in all its expressions – paintings, sculptures, music, literature, dance and various others – must play a role in the creation of Auroville, a place that wants to surpass national rivalries, social conventions, contradictory moralities and contending religions to create a new culture based on Human Unity.
With a population of only 2500 people Auroville has already produced painters and sculptors, musicians and composers, dancers and choreographs, writers, film makers, actors and directors. A team of Aurovilians even hosts a biennale for films.
Auroville is a culture still to be invented. At present there are many cultures interacting in an environment set in a rural southern India. One can wake up to temple village music at 6 am, join a ballet class at 9, have Swedish sandwiches for lunch, work behind a computer until 5 pm to later visit an evening event that can be anything from Shakespeare theater to a talk on modern poetry or the Vedas. One could also visit a jazz concert; hear a rock band from Bangalore or a classical concert of Bach. There can be a temple festival in the village, a theater play in the auditorium or a dance performance in a temple filled with oil lamps.
New Year is celebrated with a bonfire, silent gatherings are happening for Auroville’s birthday, firecrackers are lit for Deepawali and cakes are cut for Christmas.
Aurovilians wear everything from jeans and t-shirts, saris or Kurtas to elegant dresses.
We dream of a life in Auroville that one day will be completely embraced by art. Everyone will have the capacity to appreciate all arts and crafts, architecture and design as well as having the spontaneous need and affinity for beauty in all things.
A city where the inhabitants are more conscious, where new forms, sounds, movements, structures and writings will become a living reality in all its freedom, beauty, joy and simplicity.
Research is the challenge no artist in Auroville can avoid as the new culture still needs to be invented. One can catch glimpses that this process is being quietly yet dynamically nurtured in occasional music compositions, art installations, dance experiments and theater or multimedia performances. These are the sparks that have us dreaming of a greater space inside ourselves.